We find two separate Beach families, one from Connecticut and one from Canada East. We suspect they may actually have been related as they are found very near each other in cencus records. We sometimes find the Canada East family with the abbreviation CN in census records which could be translated as Connecticut erroneously. Then we find the same family as C. E. and/or Canada and then deduce they were actually from Canada East (Canada East was the English portion of Canada as opposed to Canada West, the French portion.}
Martha Beach family
We do not know the given name of Martha Beach’s first husband as we could not locate them in the 1850 census indicating they might have been still in Canada though children‘s birth records would indicate they were born in Illinois or Indiana. We find Mrs. Martha Beach marrying Stanton Prentiss as second wife on August 26 1854 in Mercer County so know they had arrived in Mercer County sometime after 1850. We find Thomas and Laura Beach Green in New Boston in 1850: #302 Thomas Green, 27, Cooper, born New Jersey; Laura Green, 19, Canada; Charles Green, 1, Iowa; Thomas Dody, 10, Ohio. Laura Beach married Thomas Green 2 May 1848 in Des Moines County , Iowa but we find no other Beaches there in 1850 nor do we find them in Mercer County.
In the 1860 census we find a curious mixture. At #1941 in New Boston we find Cyrus Maxfield, liveryman, and his family. Living with the family is Stanton Prentiss, Jr., 34, doctor, born Ohio; Enos Beach, 17, laborer, born Indiana, and Sydney Beach, 19, laborer, born Indiana. Cyrus Maxfield’s wife was Eliza Prentiss, sister of Stanton Prentiss, Jr. and now step daughter of Martha Beach Prentiss. At #1943 we find: Thomas Green, 36, cooper, born New Jersey; Laura, 29, born CN; Charles, 12, Ia; Elihu, 8, Ia; Rhoda, 6, Ia; Lucy, 2, Ia; Martha Prentiss, 45, born CN; Anthony Kyre, 56, Canada (possible hint to Martha’s surname?). Stanton Prentiss was still alive so we do not know if they were separated or if Martha was merely visiting with the Green family. We know that at the very least Martha Beach had children Laura, Enos, and Sydney and likely actually had more. Another possible child is Albert Beach, age 23, laborer, born CN, working for the Martin Cook family at #2653 in Eliza Township. His age would fit neatly into Martha’s family. The Adjutant General’s Report for the State of Illinois indicates that Albert Beach was a corporal in Company I, 17th Ill Regiment, enlisting at New Boston on May 25, 1861. It states he was discharged July 14, 1862; however his name is included on the Soldier’s Monument in Aledo indicating he died during the Civil War.
In 1870 we find in New Boston: #57 Enos Beach, 26, lumber yard laborer, born Il; Mary Beach, 31, born In; Calista Billings, 10, born Il. We did not find a marriage for Enos Beach so do not know if Mary is wife or perhaps sister. Also in New Boston we find: #107 Sydney Beach, 30, laborer in mill, born Il; Viola A., 25, In; Harry W., 6, Il; Albert, 2, Il; Frank, 1, Il. Sydney Beach married Viola A. White, daughter of Charles and Martha White, on December 1, 1864 in Mercer County.
In 1880 we find in Eliza Township: #36 Sydney Beach, 40, farmer, born Il, parents born Canada; Viola Ann, 33, born In, father Ir, mother In; Harry W, 14, Il, Il, In; Albert, 12, Il; Courtney, 6, Il; Edna May, 4, Il; Stella, 2, Il; Edward Gittin, 22, boarder, farmer, Il, parents born US. Sidney Beach is listed in the 1914 Past and Present of Mercer County as receiving a $10 pension in 1884 in New Boston Township. In Ancestry.com we find that Sidney Beach enlisted as a private in Co G 27th Illinois Regiment on 24 August 1861 and was discharged 20 September 1864 at Camp Butler.
Benjamin Hubbard and Hannah Stanard Beach Family
In 1860 just a few doors from Martha Beach and family we find the William Dixon family: #1938 William H. Dixon, 29, tailor, born Ohio; Mary J. Dixon, 22 born CT; Clarence E., 2, Il; Frank C., 1, Il; Hannah Beach, 67, born Ma. Mary Jennet Beach married William Henry Dixon 2 October 1855 in Mercer County. Her father, Benjamin Hubbard Beach, died shortly after on 7 October 1855 and is buried in New Boston Cemetery.
Chris Dixon sent us a good deal of information on the Dixon family. Chris’s information comes from the 1914 history Past and Present of Mercer County and from family obituaries. Briefly Mary Jennet Beach was daughter of Hubbard and Hannah Stannard Beach. Benjamin Hubbard Beach was son of Giles and Mary Dayton Beach and was born in Connecticut. William Dixon died in New Boston 4 July 1905 from complications after a fall from the roof of his residence.
Hubbard and Hannah had only one other child: John F. Beach and he was supposedly in Nevada Territory in 1864. We could not identify him in 1870. Hannah died 3 February 1864 in New Boston.